With access to an exponential amount of material goods, our attention span for the objects in our lives has become increasingly short. Building long-term relationships with our things is no longer common practice. How can we engage more meaningfully with the materials and objects we use every day?
For this installation, designer Emily Neill has created a set of scarves from upcycled materials. Her process of documentation tells — and will continue to tell — the story of the garments from their creation through ongoing years of use. This transparent documentation encourages people to think about where things come from, and how their lives can be extended after their first use. It also aims to reinforce the act of storytelling through objects.
At the end of the exhibition, the scarves will be distributed on loan to festival participants for use over the following 10 months. During this time, the items will be shaped by their temporary owners. Do they fade or crease based on how they are worn? How do they hold up to the lifestyle of their users? After the 10-month period, the scarves will be re-collected and documented, adding to the record and story of their use. Next, the textiles will be repaired or re-made into new objects and displayed along with the documentation of the original pieces at TO DO 2018. This cycle will continue for numerous years to come.
How would the landscape of consumption and waste today shift if all of our material goods were treated with more attention to thought and meaning? The title ‘For Lease’ questions our perceived ownership of the land on which we reside. It asks us to consider the world and the raw materials it provides as a loan to us while we are here.